Tuesday, 29 November 2016

State Dinner Sparklers, Mathilde in the Netherlands

Nine royals and the Nine Provinces Tiara - Mathilde sparkles at the State Dinner
(photo Belgian Monarchy Facebook)

Queen Mathilde brought one of the most impressive and historic tiaras in the Belgian collection out of the jewellery box for her State Visit to the Netherlands. The diadem chosen by the Queen of the Belgians played a significant role in the royal lives of two other consorts and its very name is evocative of the country they called home. On her Dutch State Visit, Mathilde let the Nine Provinces Tiarasparkle.

This diamond diadem was given to Astrid of Sweden as a wedding present from the people of Belgium when she married the country's heir to the throne, Leopold, in 1926. It was worn by the next woman to hold the title queen consort, Fabiola, when she married Leopold and Astrid's son, Baudouin, in 1960; It packs plenty of queenly history.

It packs plenty of diamond dazzle as well. It was designed by Van Bever who didn't stint on the sparkle. There's a bandeau base to the tiara and originally it had spikes with diamonds on the top - one for each of Belgium's provinces.

Queen Astrid transformed the piece by having diamond arches made to hold those gems on the top and the result is a very thirties looking tiara. It's big and bold and very regal. Mathilde used it for one of the most important photos of her royal life, her first official portrait as Queen of the Belgians. She wore just the bandeau part for that but as the tiara marks its 90th birthday, it's being celebrated all over again as Mathilde wears it as a State Dinner Sparkler.

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